Board of Directors Role Description

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The Board will support the work of Open Source Ecology (OSE) and provide mission-based leadership and strategic governance. While day-to-day operations are led by OSE’s Excecutive Director, the Board-ED relationship is a partnership, and the appropriate involvement of the Board is both critical and expected. Specific Board Member responsibilities include:

  • Leadership, governance and oversight
  • Serving as a trusted advisor to the ED as he develops and implements OSE’s strategic plan
  • Reviewing outcomes and metrics created by OSE for evaluating its impact, and regularly measuring its performance and effectiveness using those metrics *Supporting the ED in any conflict resolution if such resolution is invoked by a grieving party according to OSE's Conflict Resolution Policy
  • Reviewing agenda and supporting materials prior to board and committee meetings
  • Approving OSE’s annual budget, audit reports, and material business decisions; being informed of, and meeting all, legal and fiduciary responsibilities
  • Contributing to an annual performance evaluation of the ED
  • Assisting the ED and board chair in identifying and recruiting other Board Members
  • Partnering with the ED and other board members to ensure that board resolutions are carried out
  • Serving on committees or task forces and taking on special assignments
  • Representing OSE to stakeholders; acting as an ambassador for the organization
  • Ensuring OSE's commitment to a diverse board and staff that reflects the communities XYZ serves

Current Needs

(Last updated 1/6/2014)

Specifically, 3 main current priorities to be performed by the board include:

  1. Protecting the integrity of the open source ethic. Open source as a business case is contrary to mainstream economic paradigms of competitive advantage coming from locked IP. For OSE to adhere to its mission, it is critical that there is a strong presence of the open source ethic on its board. This is especially true after the Makerbot debacle, which has reduced the perception of the feasibility of open source enterprise by showing to the world the detrimental example that "as open source companies mature, they need to close-source their IP"
  2. Exponential Organization - Extreme Manufacturing and Design is key to OSE's lean, high innovation structure. OSE requires strong leadership in lean, exponential, learning organization. One important immediate task to accomplish is to lean out OSE's operations, specifically related to administrative requirements.
  3. Strategic Planning - assisting with the formulation of a coherent long term strategy
  4. Metrics Development - developing metrics that quantify the creation of the open source economy, OSE's core goal

Resource Development

OSE Board Members will consider OSE a philanthropic priority and make annual gifts, in-kind contributions, or otherwise contribute to resource development efforts of OSE. Resource development efforts may include providing contacts, producing publicity assets, developing Distributive Enterprise business models, finding on-contingency grant writers, or otherwise soliciting financial or in-kind resources from their respective resource networks. There is no specific monetary or time requirement attached to this duty. The point is that Board Members are to be aware clearly - that if they do make financial and other charitable contributions - that OSE be considered as an option.

Board Terms/Participation


This is an extraordinary opportunity for an individual who is passionate about OSE's mission and who has a track record of board leadership. Selected Board Members will have achieved leadership stature in business, government, philanthropy, or the nonprofit sector. His/her accomplishments will allow him/her to attract other well-qualified, high-performing Board Members.

Ideal candidates will have the following qualifications:

  • Extensive professional experience with significant executive leadership accomplishments in business, government, philanthropy, or the nonprofit sector
  • A commitment to and understanding of OSE's beneficiaries, preferably based on experience
  • Savvy diplomatic skills and a natural affinity for cultivating relationships and persuading, convening, facilitating, and building consensus among diverse individuals
  • Strong personal qualities of integrity, ethics, justice related to the pursuit of freedom + happiness, and the highest good of all
  • Service on OSE's Board of Directors is without remuneration, except for administrative support, travel, and accommodation costs in relation to Board Members’ duties.
  • Willingness to uphold the open source ethic as embodied in the Open Source Hardware Association Open Source Hardware Definition. Commitment